In the wake of last month’s sudden and unexpected closure of Blackpool Airport, Gordon has joined fellow Fylde MPs to highlight the economic value and importance of the site in a special House of Commons debate.
The Blackpool South MP used the debate to not just make reference to the benefits to people who previously travelled in and out of Blackpool for business and leisure, but also other ventures such as the expanding activities around gas and oil fields in Liverpool Bay and the Irish Sea.
Gordon also specifically asked for ministers to look at unused funding from the regional growth fund to remodel unused land at the airport to enable bidders who want keep aviation on the site and to conclude a deal.
Speaking in the debate, Gordon said: “The airport has the economic potential to be a crucial part of not only the sub-economy in the Fylde area but the economy of the whole of Lancashire.
“At the time of the closure, the site was supporting eleven tenants, and small businesses employing up 200 people.
“That made up about a £20 million contribution to the sub-regional gross value added, and included commercial passengers, offshore helicopters, general and corporate aviation, fuel sales and estates and commercial land development.”
Earlier in the year, Gordon, who also serves on the opposition frontbench as Labour’s Aviation and Maritime spokesperson, he was shown a map of Liverpool Bay and saw for himself the vast and increasing amount of activity and traffic that was taking place there.
He explained: “Whatever problems there may have been, and whatever the disputes between Balfour Beatty and Jet2.com, we must not lose sight of the fact that the businesses that were operating there were doing so in an expanding economic climate.
“There are strong arguments and feelings among my constituents in Blackpool, not simply because of passenger usage or the airport’s heritage but because of its economic value.”
Gordon once again reinforced the point that both local authorities in Blackpool and Fylde should stand strong opposing any potential development on the site for building or retail purposes.
He concluded by saying: “We all want a successful future for Blackpool Airport for the sake of the regional economy, and for the people of Blackpool and the Fylde Coast, but we need that little bit of extra help and leverage from Ministers and the Government.”